The Monuments Man – The Greatest Heist in Human History KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions, www.kidsfirst.org

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Based on the true story of the greatest treasure hunt in history, this film is an action drama focusing on an unlikely WWII platoon, tasked by FDR with going into GErmany to rescue art masterpieces from Nazi thieves and returning them to their rightful owners. It would be an impossible mission with art trapped behind enemy lines and the German army under orders to destroy everything as the Reich fell. What a wonderful story to share with your kids and grandkids. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Keefer B says, “I loved every minutes of it.” See his full review below.

 

The Monuments Men

Reviewed by Keefer C. Blakeslee

Video review available here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amzgQDk9xVM

 

This is a dramatic film, with some humorous moments, that shows the importance of human achievement and I loved every minute of it. The story is based on true events that center on the ending of World War II, when Nazi troops hid artwork from around Europe for Chancellor Hitler. President Roosevelt lets Lt. Frank Stokes (George Clooney) gather an unlikely squad of museum directors, curators and art historians to enter Europe and save, not only art, but people’s history.

 

What makes this film strong is its story and how it shows the characters’ passion for their goal. I’m not an art critic, but I recognized some of the artists and their work. But I’m not into art like these people were. However, when you see the soldiers torching the art, my heart broke and my stomach tied in knots. Watching this film reminds me that art isn’t just paintings or sculptures, it’s about people’s accomplishments and, if that’s gone, what do we have?

 

The screenplay is beautifully written by Grant Heslov and George Clooney, who also directs this movie. This film can be humorous, but it also shows the reality of war. For example, they talk about concentration camps and that’s a risky move. It refers to the inhumanity that happened, but they balance well so it’s not “Shindlers List.” This dream cast includes Bill Murray (Sgt. Richard Campbell), John Goodman (Sgt. Walter Garfield), and more memorable actors that play fantastic people. Just watching them interact is entertaining enough.

 

My favorite character is Pvt. Preston Salvitz (Bob Balaban). I pick this character because when I see Bob play Preston he becomes a little ball of fire and I love this person’s passion for art.

 

My favorite scene involves Sgt. Campbell (Murray) receiving a recording from his daughter while he’s fighting in the war. Preston plays the recording on the announcement intercom and your heart turns to mush as Bill sits by himself smiling with tears in his eyes while listening to his daughter’s voice.

 

The moral of the story is, “Sometimes our achievements are worth dying for.” “The Monuments Men” love art and that’s why they are picked for this team. They are willing to die to protect it.

 

I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend this for 12 to 18-year-olds. There’s some action, blood and language that younger kids shouldn’t experience, however the film shows our human side and how we live to create achievements.
Credit: KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions

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